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Italy 2022, Part 3: Emilia Romagna!
Under the Tuscan Sun
  • Writer's picturesbcrosby .

Everyone Loves Lucca

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

After saying our goodbyes to Jeff as he headed to Rome for his flight home, we enjoyed a lovely meal with incredible views at Ristorante Oltre Giardino in nearby Panzano.

I had to sport my new Prada sunglasses that Jeff insisted I “needed!”

We decided to spend our last full day in Tuscany on a trip to Lucca, about 90 minutes away from our villa. You never tire of the views of this Tuscan countryside, so a trip in the car was just fine with us. Along the way, we saw a road race of about 20 of the most beautiful classic Ferraris we have ever seen – flying past us, one after another. There’s nothing like the sound of an Italian Ferrari engine!

Lucca is one of the most charming medieval towns and a favorite of mine. I just can’t say enough good things about it. It’s a perfect town to get lost in, venturing along numerous small streets with a mixture of trattorias, gelaterias, retail shops, homes, and churches. In fact, there must be a church on every side street – we lost count at 10!

Among many of the town’s landmarks, the San Michele in Foro basilica shouldn’t be missed when visiting Lucca. It was built over an ancient Roman forum in 1070 (an earlier structure was actually built in 795 AD) and is dedicated to the archangel Michael. You must also find time to walk or bike along the historic city walls with their expansive vistas and paths.

We visited a few shops, and then stopped for a wonderful lunch at Ristorante Le Grotta in the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, which sits on a site that was once a Roman amphitheater.

After lunch, I found a little shop that I had visited five years ago and had purchased gorgeous hand-painted ceramic bowls. I always regretted not buying more than I did. Lo and behold, they still had this pattern and they are shipping me a few more bowls!

We enjoyed more sights, more shops, and an obligatory gelato, and then made our way back to the villa for a much-needed dip in the refreshing pool.


Tonight, Kim and Mark are making Tagliatelle Bolognese. After that, we pack, say our goodbyes to Jo Ellen, whose driver picks her up at 3:45 am, and get ready for part three of our Italy 2022 trip…the Emilia-Romagna region. Buona Sera!

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